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Comprehensive Review of Vermont’s Renewable & Clean Electricity Policies and Programs 

The Department of Public Service is currently reviewing the policies and programs related to renewable electricity to determine what changes are necessary to achieve state energy and climate goals. Input from the public is critical. Thank you to those who have already provided recommendations for the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan and the 2021 Climate Action Plan in addition to the Request for Input issued in July 2022 on this topic.  Your recommendations helped the Department develop this process.

Engagement opportunities for this effort have concluded, but if you're interested in hearing about future initiatives on clean and renewable energy, request to join our mailing list:

The sections below provide information of various aspects of this effort which are currently ongoing:

  • Final Report - review the final report on this process, including key takeaways and policy and program recommendations
  • Past Events - covers past events held on the topics of renewable and clean electricity
  • Public Engagement Plan - offers information on the Department of Public Service's Plan to engage Vermonter's in this policy review process
  • Supporting Information - provides information on renewable and clean electricity in Vermont

Final Report - April 2024

In April 2024, the Department released the final report on this process:

The final report reviews the public engagement process and technical analyses conducted, distills five key takeaways from the process, and puts forward five policy and program recommendations. The report also reflects on the public engagement effort and offers a self-assessment on how well the Department achieved its goals for public engagement.

Visual representation of the Clean & Renewable Electricity Policy RecommendationThe Department's five policy and program recommendations include:

  1. Adopt a 100% Clean Energy Standard, while maintaining the current 75% renewable energy by 2032 requirement.
  2. Under the CES, by 2035 require 30% renewable energy come from new renewable resources built after 2010. Half (15%) of the renewable energy should be required to come from distributed renewable energy.
  3. Change the compensation structure of the current net-metering program to reduce costs of meeting the CES and reduce the inequitable cost-shift.
  4. Develop a Renewable Energy for Communities (RE4C) program to support community renewable energy systems.
  5. Conduct further study on opportunities to account for renewability more granularly and the benefits and costs to the transmission & distribution infrastructure associated with increasing distributed renewable energy.

    Read the final report to learn more!

       Reviewing Electricity Policies and Programs: Past Events & Engagement Opportunities

      Update November 27, 2023: Between December 2022 and November 2023, the Department, in collaboration with many partners, has been executing its three-phased approach to reviewing Vermont’s clean and renewable electricity policies and programs. It has does so through:

      Materials related to these individual efforts are available in the sections below.  The Department is currently in the process of drafting a report on this effort which will synthesize key learnings from across this suite of activities.

      Educational Webinar Series (January-March 2023)

      • What were the webinars about? To kick start the process to review Vermont's renewable and clean electricity policies and programs, the Department of Public Service held a three-part webinar series to cover foundational topics on where Vermont’s electricity comes from, what policies and programs support the use of renewable electricity, and provide information about the process to develop future programs and policies that will further reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Content covered in each of the three webinars are available here:
      • Webinar 1: Where Does Vermont’s Electricity Come From?
        • Topics: How does the electric system get power to our homes and businesses; what electricity is generated in Vermont; what types of resources do Vermont utilities have to purchase to make sure the lights stay on?
        • Recordings:
        • Presentation slides
      • Webinar 2: Current Renewable Electricity Policies
        • Topics: Current policies and programs including the Renewable Energy Standard, Net-Metering, and the Standard Offer program and how they have helped support renewable electricity to date.
        • Recordings:
        • Presentation slides
      • Webinar 3: Parking Lot Session - Renewable Energy Certificates and their Markets
        • Topics: A deeper dive on renewable energy certificates with Jason Gifford from Sustainable Energy Advantage
        • Recording:
        • Presentation slides
        • Webinar Questions & Answers - Includes all questions asked by webinar participants and answers for those questions not addressed live during the webinar

      Statewide Polling & Focus Groups (June-July 2023)

      • Vermont Weighs in Report CoverEarlier this year, the Department worked with consulting firm MassINC Polling Group to conduct a statewide survey and focus groups with a random sample of Vermonters to better understand their priorities and preferences for renewable electricity in the state. This effort began in early June with a statewide survey of over 700 Vermonters which was followed with 11 focus groups (6 in-person, 5 virtual) with a subset of people who took that survey to dig deeper on topics of renewable and clean electricity. The report, titled "Vermont Weighs In" was released on October 3rd and offers key takeaways on Vermonter's priorities around and preferred sources of electricity, as well as their awareness of current electricity sources and policies. MassINC Polling Group (MPG) conducted the research on behalf of PSD.
      • Read the Full Report
      • Review the Summary Presentation
      • Read the full press release (issued October 3, 2023)
      • November 8th webinarA lunchtime webinar to discuss this effort and key learnings from this engagement with Vermonters
        • Recording
        • Slides (coming soon)
        • Q&A follow up (coming soon)

       Regional Event Series (September - October 2023)

      Technical Analysis (July - November 2023)

      Public Comment Period (December 2023)

      • On November 27th, the Department published a draft summary of the process it has taken to review Vermont’s renewable and clean electricity policies and programs. This effort responded to recommendations from the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan and 2021 Climate Action Plan to review those policies in a transparent and open manner. The draft report synthesized learnings from across the public engagement efforts and supporting technical analyses conducted between January and November 2023. It distilled five initial takeaways related to the future of electricity in Vermont and offers several reflections on the process taken to engage Vermonters in this effort.
      • The Department requested feedback on:
        • Did we hear the public correctly? Are our interpretations of the process in line with yours?
        • What did we miss?
        • If you participated in this process, what worked well? What could we do better in the future?
      • There were multiple ways to weigh in, including a survey, via email, or by attending one of two public meetings. We held two virtual workshops on December 5th (10am-12pm & 6pm-8pm). The workshops offered space to:
        • Review the initial takeaways presented in this report, 
        • Answer questions on this process, and 
        • Brainstorm where we go from here. 
        • In case you missed them, you can review the recordings:

      Monthly Updates

      To help everyone stay in the loop on what the Department is doing to review Vermont's clean and renewable electricity programs and policies, we're sending our stakeholder list a monthly update. In case you missed it or aren't yet on our stakeholder list, you can access copies of each month's update here:


      Public Engagement Plan

      12/01/22: Public Service Department Releases Public Engagement Plan to Guide Review of Vermont’s Renewable Electricity Policy and Programs

      • The Department's proposed public engagement plan is meant to guide a comprehensive review of Vermont's renewable and clean electricity programs and policies over the next year. The proposed plan incorporates input received earlier this year from the Request for Input and envisions three phases of public engagement to implement a core recommendation of the Comprehensive Energy Plan.
      • Feedback? The Department welcomes feedback on the proposed plan. Please submit feedback through via email at 
      • How did you develop the Public Engagement Plan? This plan was informed by a Request for Input (RFI), issued in July 2022 to solicit feedback on the process for the comprehensive review and to gather initial input about what is important to Vermonters regarding the State’s supply of electricity. Links to the RFI, the related press release and supporting materials, and the synthesis of information submitted are below:
      • 11/8/22: The Department has posted the Draft 2023 RES Model on the Renewables page for review.

      Supporting Information

      Comprehensive Energy Plan

      The Vermont Comprehensive Energy Plan (CEP) sets out a pathway for Vermont to obtain 90% of its energy from renewable sources by 2050. This ambitious goal calls on all citizens to take actions that will collectively transform the way we use and produce energy in our electric, transportation, and heating sectors. Some of the main policies and incentives available to Vermonters that will help effect this transformation are highlighted below. For an in-depth look at the CEP's goals and recommendations, please review the 2022 Comprehensive Energy Plan.

      Renewable Energy Standard

      Beginning in 2017 the Vermont Renewable Energy Standard (RES) required utilities to meet certain goals. Specifically, by 2032, to:

      • Meet 75% of sales with renewable energy (55% in 2017, 59% in 2020)
      • Meet 10% of sales with distributed generation (1% in 2017, 2.2% in 2020)
      • Meet 12% of sales with "energy transformation projects" (2% in 2017, 4% in 2020)*

      *Municipal electric utilities having not more than 6,000 customers have different targets (2.67% in 2020; 10.67% by 2032)

      Climate Action Plan

      Vermont and the world are facing the impacts of climate change and it’s time to act. The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan, released on December 1, 2021, outlines steps to cut climate pollution and help Vermonters prepare for extreme weather and other impacts caused by climate change.

      The Legislature established the Vermont Climate Council to draft the plan. As they drafted the plan, the Climate Council incorporated ideas and feedback from a wide range of Vermonters.

      The initial Vermont Climate Action Plan is a first step in climate action and will be updated at least every four years. The plan includes an implementation section for legislators and other state-level stakeholders to inform decision-making.


      The net-metering program, which was established in 1999, is only one of several programs available for developing solar and other types of renewable energy in Vermont. Customers who participate in the net-metering program can offset their electric bills through financial incentives based on the amount of electricity generated by their net-metering systems

      The Vermont Public Utilities Commission manages the net-metering program. For complete information on the program visit their net-metering website:

      Clean Energy Development Fund

      The purpose of CEDF is to increase in Vermont the development and deployment of cost-effective and environmentally sustainable electric power resources, primarily with respect to renewable energy resources, and the use of combined heat and power technologies. Additional information on CEDF can be found on the CEDF page.

      Siting Generation Projects

      Any electric generation facility must receive a Certificate of Public Good from the Public Utility Commission (PUC) before site preparation or construction can begin on that facility.   

      Section 248 of Title 30 sets forth the land use, economic, and engineering criteria that the PUC uses to review projects. Depending on the size and type of project, however, the criteria that are reviewed and the process for review can vary considerably.

      Standard Offer

      In 2009 Vermont created one of the first standard price offerings for renewables in the nation, as part of the state's Sustainably Priced Energy for Economic Development (SPEED) program. The first iteration of the program resulted in fixed-price contracts for 50 MW of in-state renewables projects (up to 2.2 MW each). In 2012 the Vermont legislature increased the program by 77.5 MW, up to a total of 127.5 MW through 2022. More information is available on the Standard Offer page.


      This webpage provides information and resources regarding renewable energy sources including solar, biomass, wind, and hydropower.